The biggest question of my life right now,…
What is my role????
I’ve told myself I am confused about this question because
I am a stepmom.
Right away the words STEPMOM fill the room with hazy smoke, the kind where you can’t see 2 feet in front of you, and you suddenly have no idea where you even are. Just THE WORD is full of questions.
But then for some of us, the role gets even stickier.
I’m not ‘just a stepmom.’
In fact, I am the kids main emotional support. I am the instigator, I am the listening ear, I am the one figuring things out, communicating with teachers, connecting the dotes, finding therapists, locating new schools, discussing, giving consequences, and driving all over the place.
It’s a strange dynamic because I enjoy being a part of a family. I love being relied on and knowing that they can trust me to follow through.
But,… I’m not the mom. I’m just a stepmom.
Am I only doing these extra things because their MOM can’t? No,… that’s not entirely true. My love for them continuously grows the more I do. The more I learn about who they are and what they need, the more I want to show up.
Because I love them.
And then again there are times when I get super annoyed that their ACTUAL mom doesn’t know even a morsel about them. I get angry, and I feel taken advantage of, and I want to step down.
But what would I be stepping down from when my ROLE was never established in the first place?
What would I do if I ‘stepped down?’
Who would fill these roles if I didn’t?
So I go back and forth between feeling obligated and then really wanting to show up. Sometimes I have lots of energy for it and I feel empowered and strong. Other times I’m seething with anger and want to scream at everyone.
My feelings go back and forth, just like the hazy, muddy, slightly skewed title of ‘stepmom.’
I was thinking about this today as I was doing yoga.
MY ROLE is all over the place and nowhere and has no definition and is yet all encompassing. I was starting to get anxious just thinking about it.
But then I realized something else.
Why am I so special?
I mean, am I the ONLY one that doesn’t have a clearly DEFINED role?
I’ve been so caught up in my STEPMOM identity and what that means or doesn’t mean, that I didn’t give myself a chance to check out everyone else.
Maybe the reason this has been so confusing for me, is that we ALL seem to have some weird idea that our ROLES, any of them, should be clearly defined and explained.
We must feel like we SHOULD know exactly what it means to be a good wife, or good friend, or great sister or daughter, or excellent employee.
We SHOULD have learned what the parameters are, what is expected, what isn’t, how we can EXCEL, etc.
The more I think about it, there isn’t one single thing in life that is surrounded by clearly created black and white boundaries and definitions, right?
What if the very concept of ROLE is just bullshit?
What if it completely depends on who the person is and their intention for how they want to show up in the world? Wow. That just took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. Seriously, I felt them just fall.
What if I don’t need to do ANYTHING to perfect my ROLE.
What if I just get to be Jackie? I can do more or less depending on what I feel, but I don’t need to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t need to FEEL like I have to do anything. I’ve just decided while writing this that my only requirement is that I’ll do everything with lots of love. Love for the kids, and my husband, and his ex-wife, and my family, and my friends,…
But most importantly, I can have a lot of love for myself, and let myself OFF THE ROLE HOOK!